Caer­philly en­ters the ICE age as enterprise hub grows

Western Mail - - BUSINESS IN WALES -

ONE of Wales’ lead­ing hubs for startup busi­nesses and en­trepreneurs is ex­pand­ing – as it tar­gets hav­ing 1,000 firms un­der its roof.

Caer­philly-based Welsh In­no­va­tion Cen­tre for Enterprise (Welsh ICE) has se­cur­ing an ad­di­tional 2,500 sq ft of of­fice space.

This comes af­ter the cen­tre opened its third build­ing, the Oc­tagon, in Septem­ber last year.

It means the cam­pus now con­sists of 30,000 sq ft of of­fice space, hous­ing 170 busi­nesses and 400 staff and en­trepreneurs. The for­mer open­plan floor has now been ren­o­vated, cre­at­ing nine new medium-sized of­fices, with the aim of pro­vid­ing pri­vate space for larger start-ups.

Com­mu­nity man­ager at Welsh ICE Jamie McGowan said: “For the past six months at ICE we have been op­er­at­ing at a 95% ca­pac­ity, so in order to con­tinue to grow, we knew we sim­ply needed more space.

“When the ex­tra space be­came avail­able we jumped at it, and we are now proud to say that we will oc­cupy the en­tire ground floor at Britannia House. The of­fice space will be used to sup­port smaller teams who per­haps have out­grown a sin­gle desk in our co-work­ing spa­ces, but are not yet ready for one of our larger of­fices. The new space will be a per­fect and af­ford­able an­swer for the four- to six­per­son teams.

“Along with our other build­ings, the Oc­tagon and the Lodge, this ex­pan­sion is all part of our on­go­ing long-term vi­sion at ICE to have 1,000 busi­nesses on site, and with the pop­u­lar­ity of our ICE 50 funded spa­ces, we are well on course to achieve that,” said Mr McGowan.

Welsh ICE is cur­rently run­ning its ICE 50 scheme, where 50 start-up firms will re­ceive a fully-funded pack­age in­clud­ing a full-time desk, a tai­lored men­tor­ing pro­gramme, cre­ative work­shops, tele­phone and high-speed in­ter­net ac­cess and oneto-one sup­port for 12 months.

> The Welsh ICE cam­pus in Caer­philly

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